Gorbachev’s Appeal

Gorbachev’s Appeal to the World Leaders for the abolition of Chemical Weapons


Dear …


I am writing to you as President of Green Cross International, a global environmental organization that has been working for several years on a program to help eliminate the environmental consequences of the arms race. As part of this program, called the Legacy, GCI has been working together with the Ministry of Defense an the Ministry of Atomic Industry of Russia, the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Energy, as well as the Government of Switzerland.


The purpose of my letter is to call your attention to the dangerous situation as regards the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, an important arms control instrument that entered into force in 1997.


Whereas the United States has destroyed 20% of its chemical weapons stockpile, Russia has not been able to start this process due to its economic difficulties. Unfortunately, financial support from the West for this purpose has been withheld for some time. Taking into account the position of the USA Administration and Congress that the United States is ready to release funds and work with European nations to support Russia´s chemical weapons destruction, if Russia fulfills its obligation to finance this program, I have written to President Putin, urging him to give his personal attention to this matter. I have also written to President Clinton.


I hope that the issue can be resolved through reciprocal efforts on the part of Russia, the United States, and European nations. I intend to continue my efforts to help with the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and would very much hope that you will take a stand on this important matter and use your influence to make sure that the Convention works effectively and the regime created by it is not destroyed.




Mikhail Gorbachev


Green Cross International


Geneva, 25.6.2000

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